Elon Musk's Starlink is Ready to Offer Satellite Internet for Commercial Flights
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With each new initiative, Elon Musk proves that his limits are beyond the skies. Now he seeks to solve a big problem for travelers: using WiFi on the plane. Musk's company Starlink announced that it is ready to offer satellite internet on commercial flights, and they are negotiating with several airlines to provide the service in the near future.
With more than 1,500 satellites in orbit, Starlink currently offers internet in hard-to-reach and rural areas in several countries.
In a panel at the Connected Aviation Intelligence summit, Jonathan Hofeller, vice president of Starlink, revealed that Starlink was in talks with commercial airlines to provide them with internet service.
“We have our own aviation product in development… we’ve already done some demonstrations to date, and looking to get that product finalized to be put on aircraft in the very near future,” Hofeller said.
Deployment of 60 Starlink satellites confirmed pic.twitter.com/qBtLpzV9ya- SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 26, 2021
Elon Musk's company, which is part of SpaceX, explained that the new WiFi service for commercial flights will require the use of airline antennas. These would be similar to those used on the ground, but with better connectivity for airplanes in flight. The satellites will be linked with lasers, so the signal won't need to bounce off ground stations. In this way, airplanes can fly over remote areas, such as oceans and deserts, and can continue to receive the internet.
Hofeller clarified that this technology is not available at the moment, but it will be part of the next generation of Starlink satellites, which are already being developed.